I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
When I began to hash this issue out with myself and others I struggled. Felons break the contract of life when they commit any crime. Gay people break the Law of God and want to be a protected group. How is the Law of the land more important than the Law of God? Whales and other endangered species have rights, but certain human beings created in God’s image, prone to failure can not get any one to speak up for their rights.
I am excited by what I see going on in this world, for I know that it’s not over just because some Judges feel they have the power to render sound decisions, i am glad when I see these things that are against my Lord’s way of doing things, because I am assured of Him coming soon. I know what my bible says and it’s not over my God I am not looking at these injustices as the way they will forever be.
I want to take a look at the literacy of God rites;
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. NIV
Because this passage starts with “…because of this”, we must go back to where this begins at Romans 1:18 to find out what Paul was addressing. From 1:18-23, Paul is addressing that the wrath of God is against…
- all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness
- they [who] knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him
- they [who] became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles
Romans 1:29 and on goes on to state that they are
- filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed and malice
- full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite
- they are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God
- they are insolvent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in the wickedness and rebellious towards their parents
- they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless
Paganism, sensuality, idol worship, sin and lust were of part of everyday society in ancient Rome and a problem faced by early Christians. Paul’s letter to the Romans addressed the first century realities of Roman idolatry, fertility goddess worship and shrine prostitution. Romans is not theoretical. It is practical and focused on what Roman Christians encountered every day they lived in Rome.
Now, Romans 1:27 is speaking of perversion. What does this term mean? Perverting something is to twist, misuse or deviate from the norm. If one “exchanges natural relations for unnatural ones” or “abandons natural relationships”, it’s basically saying Paul disproved of sexual behavior contrary to a person’s nature. As it is normal for a heterosexual person to be attracted to a person of the opposite gender, it is normal for a gay or lesbian person to be attracted to a person of the same gender. Paul may be considering abnormal sex to involve sexual activity which is in violation of a person’s basic nature – something that goes against their sexual orientation. Or, as As C. Ann Shepherd writes:
“When the scripture is understood correctly, it seems to imply that it would be unnatural for heterosexuals to live as homosexuals, and for homosexuals to live as heterosexuals.”
The word “unnatural” in verse 26 is the Greek word “phusis”, meaning natural production or extension (i.e. having children) and it is likely that Paul’s concern was that the temple prostitutes who were female, were not getting pregnant (due to bodily damage and syphilis). Many people in the world have sex without the ability to re-produce. We no longer see that as unnatural or a result of sin. The word “natural” (referring to men) is the word “phisukos” and refers to instinct. Paul saw both slavery and sexual abuse of males non-instinctual. But what about gays and lesbians? Same-sex fulfillment is natural and instinctual. The key word is “unnatural”. Roman sexuality did not see same-sex practice as “unnatural”. In fact, to the Roman world it was very, very natural, even a part of growing up.
Over and over again, we see the Bible condemning orgies, molestation or sexual acts outside of a monogamous committed relationship. Who is to say this applies to modern day loving same-sex couples? Because God is the same yesterday and today and forever more.
Boy Scouts Maintains Gay Ban, But Accepts Convicted Criminals
The Boy Scouts of America might be adamantly against including gay members, but convicted criminals are another story.
The Human Rights Campaign recently obtained a Boy Scouts employment application and discovered that a criminal record apparently does not immediately preclude hiring.
“HRC obtained a copy of their job application, which says: ‘The Boy Scouts of America will not employ… known or avowed homosexuals,'” writes HRC. “The icing on top? ‘Conviction of a crime is not an automatic bar to employment’ according to the application. That’s right – a person’s sexual orientation is more of a red flag than their criminal record.”
Now, HRC is asking supporters to send letters to the Boy Scouts board demanding the organization end its policy of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is actually permissible in a number of states across the nation, including many in the Bible Belt — Texas, Louisiana and Alabama, to name a few. No federal law protects LGBT individuals. The Human Rights Campaign notes on its website that, in 29 states, it is not explicitly illegal to fire someone for being gay ; nor is it illegal, in 34 states, to discriminate against an employee over gender identity.
On Feb. 6, the Boy Scouts announced it will maintain the ban on gay members and leaders while it examines the issue ahead a decision in May. The group was supposed to come to a decision in February but has reasoned the delay is due to “the complexity of this issue.”
Gay rights groups are not buying it. GLAAD, for one, thinks the issue is clear-cut: “An organization that serves youth and chooses to intentionally hurt dedicated young people and hardworking parents not only flies in the face of American principles, but the principles of being a Boy Scout,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in a statement.
I am one that likes to foster beliefs, that drive actions, that produce the ultimate competitive advantage. As we delve into deducing this predicament we will encounter those who feel they are God, but not I,
By considering verses 26-27 in isolation from their surrounding context, we could easily make the mistake of believing that the subject of his message was homosexuality. In fact, this was not the case. When homosex sexual intercourse was mentioned, it was specifically related to his message concerning people who were thwarting the revelation of God by engaging in idolatrous practices.
In verse 18, Paul transitioned into a discussion about a certain group of people against whom God’s wrath was revealed. He described the effects of their sin in verses 19-22, and then identified the group in verses 23 and 25. He was speaking about idolaters—people who changed the glory of God into fashioned images that resembled men and animals. These images are called idols, and it is from the worship of these idols that we get the word “idolatry”. And the worship of idols was exactly what the people Paul was referring to engaged in (v. 25).
Now that we’ve determined the context of Paul’s statement, we’re in a much better position to interpret and apply his words in a manner consistent with the original intent. Ultimately, the accurate interpretation boils down to the answer to a simple question: Does Paul’s condemnation of homosex sexual acts in verses 26-27 apply to any such acts in general (a moral pronouncement that is universally applicable), or does it only apply to such acts engaged in within the socio-religious framework of idolatry?
Most people will be quick to answer this question one way or the other, depending on where they already fall in their theological beliefs concerning homosexuality. They’ll choose to interpret the passage in a manner consistent with their existing beliefs. But, such an approach won’t serve us here because rather than looking to validate existing beliefs, we want to allow Scripture to speak for itself. Consequently, we have to look into the text itself to see if it provides any hints as to the answer to this pertinent question.
Such interpretational problems are a perfect case in point. Scripture is not to be used to validate doctrine. Rather, we should use it to formulate doctrine (2Timothy 3:16). If we start off reading a passage with an absolute certainty of what it means, it is ever-so-easy to read into the text a validation of those beliefs—whether the text itself actually supports those beliefs or not. I strongly encourage you to remain mindful of this when engaging in biblical study, especially when it involves issues with implications as serious as those surrounding sexual orientation.
So, which of these interpretations is correct? The only way a certain answer can be derived is by examining the text itself, as well as related passages, for clues. One very important rule of interpretation is that Scripture interprets Scripture. Let’s employ this rule and determine exactly what Paul is condemning.
The first thing that must be acknowledged is that the subject of this passage was, indeed, idolatry, not sexuality. Not only is this borne out by the verses preceding verses 26-27, but also, Paul made an explicit link between the idolatry that was his subject matter and the homosex sexual activity. In verses 23-24, Paul identified these people as idolaters (verse 23) and then said, “wherefore” (or “therefore”) in relation to God giving them up to sexual uncleanness (verse 24). Clearly, he was saying that their same-sex sexual acts were a result of their idolatry.
This isn’t where the connection ends, though. It’s interesting that people love to read verse 26 in isolation from verse 25; yet the very beginning of verse 26 states, “For this cause” (or “for this reason”). Well, for what reason? Seeing that God gave them over to “vile affections” (which were identified as same-sex sexual affections), what exactly was the reason? Was it because they were born that way? Was it because they were molested during adolescence? What exactly was the reason these people engaged in same-sex sexual activity? Well, if we back up to verse 25, we discover the reason. Paul explicitly told us that they “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” Again, Paul identified idolatry as the cause of their same-sex sexual activity.
I hope I have raised some spark of understanding within you about how awful this thing is in God’s eyes and for us as a nation.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
2 Corinthians 2:14-17
New International Version (NIV)
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
Have you ever experienced sheer disconnect from your heavenly father? Have you ever failed God by being disobedient while performing an assignment from Him? Have you lied due to fear of being discovered as a Fraudulent individual? Well I must admit I have done all the above and I know of some pioneers that did also.
On one of Christopher Columbus’s voyages, he found that his crew’s food supply was almost depleted. Anchored off the island of Jamaica, he was grateful to be given food by the islanders. But as time went on, the gifts of food decreased so that the crew began to starve.
Columbus knew from an astronomy book that a lunar eclispe would soon occur. He called the native chiefs together and told them God was angry about their selfishness and would blot out the moon. At first the islanders scoffed. But when they watched the night’s silver disc slowly become dark, they became terrified and quickly brought food. Columbus said that if he prayed, the moon would be restored. Though we may empathize with his circumstances, Columbus’s ‘message from God” was dishonest and self – serving. Aware of religious charlatans who “peddled” God’s word for their own desires, the apostle Paul wrote, “We are not, as many, peddling the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God.”(2 Corin.2:17)
At all times we must be on guard not to misrepresent God’s message to acquire what we want from others. With a heart yielded to God, we must honestly share spiritual truths that will benefit those who hear.
Don’t compromise the word of God
Or twist what He has said;
For blessing comes from faithfully
Proclaiming truth instead.
The purpose of sharing God’s truth is to profit others, not to prosper ourselves…
A Storm of Wickedness is Raging Across America
There is a storm raging across America. Alcoholism, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, abortion, homosexuality, school violence, child abuse, pornography, rape, robbery and murder pervade our nation. America is drowning in wickedness and immorality. By all measures, this storm threatens to erode the moral and political foundations of America.
As God and His principles continue to be systematically and incrementally removed from America, our nation and individuals will continue to experience even greater moral decay.
As George Washington so wisely warned, “… Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle.” (83)
George Mason, the Father of the Bill of Rights, said, “As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes and effects, Providence punishes national sins by national calamities.” (84)
There is good news, even in the face of such moral degradation. Many are seeking answers. Many are yearning for relief and peace in dyer circumstances. Only God’s people can make a difference by pointing individuals and our nation back to God.
The belief that America is degenerating on a moral level is shared by both Republicans and Democrats. According to a new Gallup poll, 82 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats say that moral values in the U.S.A. are only fair or downright poor. 40 years ago, only 33 percent of Americans felt that way.
So what’s happened? First, secular forces have destroyed any rendering of Judeo-Christian philosophy in the public school system. Many teachers are now ordered not to make value judgments on behavior and not to push any specific moral standards. Thus children receive little if any moral guidance in class.
Second, with the rise of single parent homes, more and more American kids wind up unsupervised for long periods of time, left to the television set or the computer, where harmful material comes at them like rain in a thunderstorm.
Third, major corporations now traffic in sex and violence to an extent never before seen in this country. Americans spend more than $10 billion a year on porn every year. And violent video games gross billions more for corporations.
Fourth, peer pressure to actually reject immoral behavior is virtually non-existent in many places. The military criminals at Abu Ghraib never could have committed their crimes if other soldiers did not look away. The code of silence about bad behavior is an infectious disease among Americans.
And finally, the decline of the Catholic church in America has dramatically harmed the U.S.A. According to a 1958 Gallup poll, 74 percent of American Catholics attended mass every week. Now the number stands at 25 percent. With 65 million members, the Catholic church in America is by far the nation’s largest and used to set a moral tone that was taken seriously by society in general.
That’s over now because of the priest scandals and the lack of leadership within the American Catholic church.
So as it stands, both Republicans and Democrats realize America is lacking a strong moral compass. Millions of American parents are trying hard to teach their children good values, but are besieged by the terrible influences beyond the home. The secularists have succeeded in drastically changing the moral tone in this country. And 80 percent of us see that change as a bad thing.
However, there’s no mass outcry about it. And until there is, America will continue its declining moral direction.
If fear is cultivated it will become stronger, if faith is cultivated it will achieve mastery.
John Paul Jones
No Place for Fear
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” —Matthew 14:29–30
Peter was willing to put it all on the line. He and the other disciples had been straining against the waves and wind all night long when Jesus appeared to them, walking on the water. Wanting to prove his courage to Jesus, he made an amazing statement: “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water” (Matthew 14:28). These were rough seas, and Peter was willing to literally step onto them because He was looking at Jesus. That gave him confidence and courage.
It went well for awhile until Peter started to sink. And why did he sink? Because he took his eyes off Jesus and put them on other things. The Bible tells us, “When he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid” (verse 30).
Circumstances can be frightening. When your boss calls you in and tells you the company has to downsize and they are letting you go, when the doctor calls you with the test results that are not good, when you open that letter from an attorney that says you are being sued, it can scare you. It can devastate you. And it can cause you to take your eyes off Jesus.
Where fear reigns, faith is driven away. But where faith reigns, fear has no place. Faith and fear don’t mix. As you bring in faith, fear will walk out the back door. But if you invite fear as a resident in your life, then you will drive faith away.
Peter had faith. He had his eyes on Jesus. He was doing the impossible. But then he started to sink, because he took his eyes off Jesus. In his case, he looked at the wind. In our case, it might be something else. But when we forget God, we will start to sink. Yes, I started to sink in my joy, my hope, my peace and my strength. The natural elements will lie to us and make us a mess. Believe in all you do, believe its that type of tenaciousness that God smells and sees upon a vessel that loves in-spite of the suffering.
Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
It has always been a great wrong that these men and their families should be held in bondage. We of the North have hitherto acquiesced in it, lest, in the endeavor to redress it in violation of the Constitution, greater evils might ensue.
I have been looking into a way to make this apart of my ministry. I know that these people are in need of a stable place to get regenerated and healed of the emotional scars they have recieved as sex slaves and labor abuse. I have spoken with a number of people that I once had as business partners to find out if there is funding for houses to act as safe houses and rehabs for these bruised and wounded “Human Beings.” Crack, Speed, Mental Abuse, Alcoholism, Child Abuse, Battered Women, all are minisrties in need of Ambassadors to facilitate.
Poverty Is the Factor in the Global Economy That Leads to Suffering and Slavery. As Americans gather with family to celebrate their good fortune this weekend, Vision Media looks at the current social issue of human trafficking and slavery that goes unchecked in many parts of the world. Americans have become comfortable with the idea that slavery is an atrocity that existed only in America‘s distant past, or in countries where there is no rule of law, but in fact slavery is in the top three revenue earners for organized crime and 14,500-17,500 slaves are brought into the U.S. for prostitution or to labor in illegal sweat shops.
When families are starving it is easy for exploiters to persuade parents to sell their children under the guise that the child will have a ‘better life.’ Poverty is often the lever used to gain dominion over a slave worker and debt bondage is the most common type of slavery today. Buying a slave does not cost the slave trader much these days — the average price for a world slave is $30. Note that in 1850 a slave cost $40,000 (today’s dollar value). Today, 600 – 800 million modern day slaves are trafficked internationally every year.
“Those toiling under the horrendous conditions of abject slavery cannot be viewed simply as victims of unfortunate circumstances in the mêlée of world trade and commerce,” says Bill Butler, writer for Vision Media. “Modern day slavery must be acknowledged for the serious social issue it is; the result of a perpetrated by cruel and greedy individuals and criminal enterprises lacking in compassion for other people’s suffering.”
How are these modern day slaves treated? Simon Deng, having escaped the horror of his early exploitation in Sudan, describes his terror as a child slave. He was shown a picture of a child with no arms and no legs and told that if he ran away the slave owner would capture him and he would look exactly like the picture.
It is not all bad: in November 2007, Anti-Slavery International awarded its Anti-Slavery Award to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a Florida-based farm workers rights group. The CIW is known for its consumer boycotts that have improved wages and conditions in Florida’s produce fields. As the current moral issue of modern day slavery reaches more consumers, business ethics may be brought into the fabric of the global economy.
“But there is a need for a much broader quest to free the world of slavery,” says Butler at Vision.org. “The real social issue is that freedom from all slavery can only be realized if there is a complete change of the human heart.”
Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.
2 Corinthians 6:10
New International Version (NIV)
10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
A Stoic person despises the shedding of tears, but a Christian is not forbidden to weep. yet the soul may become silent from excessive grief, just as the quivering sheep may remain quite beneath the scissors of the shearer. Or, when the heart is at the verge of breaking beneath the waves of a trial, the sufferer may seek relief by crying out with a loud voice. But there is something even better. It is that springs of sweet, fresh water pool up amid the saltiness of the oceans, that the fairest Alpine flowers bloom in the wildest and most rugged mountain passes, and that tyhe most magnificent psalms arose from the most profound agonies of the soul.
May it continue to be! Therefore, amid a multitude of trials, souls who love God will discover reasons for boundless, leaping joy. even though “deep calls to deep” (Psalms 42:7), the clear cadence of the Lord’s song will be heard. And during the most difficult hour that could ever enter a human life, It will be possible to bless the God and father of our Lord jesus christ. I wonder have any of you learned this lesson yet? Not simply to endure or to choose God’s will but to rejoice in it “with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
I wish to complete the process of Maturity so I can be found ripe for the task. Olives that render good sweet juice upon pressing are only good for the picking if they have endured the press and riping process while on the vine.
I will be still, my bruised heart faintly murmured,
As over me rolled a crushing load of woe;
My words, my cries, even my low moan was stifled;
I pressed my lips; i barred the teardrops’s flow.
I will be still, although I cannot see it,
The love that bares a soul and fans pain’s fire;
That takes away the last sweet drop of solace,
Breaks the lone harp string, hides your precious lyre.
But God is love, so I will stay me, stay me–
We’ll doubt not, Soul, we will be very still;
We’ll wait till after while, when He will lift us–
Yes, after while, when it will be His will.
And now my heart and I are sweetly singing–
Singing without the sound of tuneful strings;
Drinking abundant waters in the desert;
crushed, and yet soaring as on eagle’s wings.